FUBU staging comeback, announces partnership with Century 21

Looks like iconic hip-hop brand FUBU is staging a comeback and this time, it’s founder Daymond John is making a point to learn from the brand’s previous mistakes.

According to Complex, the Queens native who started the label in 1992 and kept it going with the help of partners J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin and Carlton Brown have spent some serious time reflecting on what went wrong the first time around.

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“The biggest mistake we made with the brand was buying more inventory than we needed. This was around 2001,” John admits.

Now the label is saying they’re back thanks to a partnership with Century 21. Their new capsule collection will be highlighted in the retailer’s Next Century space, which has its own separate entrance on Dey Street in Lower Manhattan.

Ironically, Next Century is geared to younger demographic of consumers interested in “streetwear, vintage, and a curated selection of discounted designer pieces” – many of whom weren’t even alive during FUBU’s glory days.

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At the height of its popularity, FUBU, which stands for “For Us, By Us,” was available in more than 5,000 stores, with its yearly sales for 1998 exceeding $350 million. But by 2003 the writing was on the wall and the brand made the difficult decision to retreat from the U.S. market.

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However, thanks to a handful of popular millennials feeling nostalgic for the simpler days of the ’90s, the clothing line has recently gotten a smattering of high profile shout outs.

In 2016, Solange released a song named “F.U.B.U.,” which was meant to be an anthem for people of color seeking ownership of their culture. Then in 2018, Donald Glover‘s did a whole episode titled “FUBU,” in his hit FX series Atlanta series, which centered around the popularity of the brand, and the unexpected ramifications of what it meant to children who couldn’t afford it.